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Outdoor Files: Deer Hunting, mule deer numbers are higher

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Good morning. The highlight of this weekend’s outdoor calendar is the opening of the firearm deer season this Saturday and running through Sunday the 19th. To accommodate deer taken toward the end of the season, hunters have until 1 PM Monday the 20th to check them in.

Look into available permits online OutdoorNebraska.org or from our Game and Parks district office locations. This note, Veterans Day will be recognized by state government on Friday the 10th. However, Game and Parks district offices will remain open that day for deer permit sales.

Deer numbers this year are higher for mule deer and about the same for the whitetails. 2016 saw a record harvest of mule deer, just over nine thousand two hundred fifty (9257) and the outlook is for a modest increase this season. There was a slight decline in the take of whitetail bucks last year, a modest increase is predicted this year. A decline is expected in whitetail doe harvest as fewer doe tags are available. Prospects are improved statewide as deer herds have recovered from the losses of from drought and disease in 2012. Hunters are required to wear blaze orange for safety but from the 11th through the 19th, country hikers, farmers doing chores, not a bad idea to wear a little of that color as well.

This is that time of year when art and craft shows are commonplace around the state. One annual event returns to the Kiewit Lodge at Mahoney State Park this Saturday 9-4 and Sunday 10-3. Expect a variety of mediums. A daily or annual park entry permit is needed but the show admission is free.

Looking ahead to Saturday November 19th…educators of elementary and middle school youth are encouraged to attend a free citizen science workshop. The workshop will be at the Hastngs Musuem on Burlington Avenue. While it is free to teachers, for material planning purposes, please register, learn more by contacting Jamie Bachmann in our Norfolk Game and Parks office. The number there is 402-370-3374.

Until next week, I’m Ralph Wall reminding you time outdoors is time well spent.

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